Thursday, April 14, 2016

The joys of volunteering

If you read my blogs you know that we started on our volunteering journey mid last year - we took a lot of time to decide on the type of volunteering we wanted to do - just like working if you are doing something you love then it is so much more enjoyable.

The view from our office - not bad!
We chose Volunteer Marine Rescue - primarily because we obviously love boating, the environment is great - you can't beat working on a beach front - it makes for an inspiring office, plus it provided a learning environment for us - we could gain new knowledge and being in a learning environment and feel a sense of achievement - but we have gotten a lot more from it than what we expected to.

Learning how to use a life raft -
now there is something I would never
thought I would learn!

Volunteering puts you in contact with like minded people, people who are passionate about what they are doing - lets face it you don't trudge off to volunteering like work unless you truly like it and like being there and you feel it is a worthy environment - so I would say generally you are in a good uplifting space.

You meet some great people along the way - both those you work directly with and those you may well be helping - the appreciation from those you have been assisted by the organisation you volunteer with is generally high and it makes you feel good that you have able to do something of significance.  Those you work with can also inspire you - I know we look around at the people we work closely with and those in other teams and think WOW how great are these people, they go above and beyond nearly everyday, their knowledge about the organisation is fantastic to learn from and many go over and above what is required of them to ensure these volunteer organisations continue to grow and prosper.

Not only can you learn new skills, new information, but it can provide a unique platform for you to practice and enjoy success in areas of business you use to participate in - so you can bring new skills to an organisation as well which is also great and makes you feel like you are contributing.

Getting Sponsors - uses our Sales & Marketing skills
Yes sometimes volunteer environments can look a little disorganised - but that is generally because they don't have the money to spend on the things we all take for granted when working, and yes often you have to do things like clean the office because these are not things that get done by professionals and of course in a lot of cases many volunteer organisation rely on retired people who may not be as quick to respond to an email or be as tech savvie as those in business - but you know everyone is just trying their hardest every day they are there, and each person is contributing something to a worthy cause.

We have more certificates now than we have ever had in our entire working life, and our training in all areas of rescue has been full on, but on the other hand we have been able to provide others with information on things we know as well (and that is the beauty of volunteering - everyone brings something to the table) and we are able to provide the organisation with a skill set from our previous working lives that was not readily available - Sales & Marketing - so it is the coupling of new skills and the well known ones that make volunteering such a valuable thing to do and make you feel like you are contributing to a good cause.  

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